Nov 17, 2023

TCDSU Calls on College to Change “Paternalistic” Overnight Guests Policy

In a statement, TCDSU has urged College to change their overnight guest policy, on the basis that it "limits the rights and autonomy of student residents".

Phoebe PascoeAssistant Editor
Alex Connolly for The University Times

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has released a statement urging College to immediately change the overnight guest policy in Trinity-run accommodation, calling it “outrageous” and “restrictive”. 

According to the 2023/4 Residents’ Handbook, students living at Trinity Halls currently have to sign in guests at Reception prior to 10:30pm. On campus, overnight guests must register online before midnight. Residents hosting guests who have not been registered may face repercussions from the Warden at Trinity Halls or the Junior Dean on campus. 

TCDSU states that the policy “limits the rights and autonomy of student residents”. Currently, students residing in Trinity Halls or on campus are classified as licensees as opposed to tenants. 


“It is a paternalistic, dangerous and double-standard policy”, the Union argues. They highlight instances when not being able to have an overnight guest might pose a safety risk, for example if they do not have a way of getting home late at night and are unable to stay with their friend.  

The statement also notes that “the same policy does not apply to staff living on campus, such as lecturers or Fellows”. TCDSU compared the rule to “in loco parentis” policies during the 1960s. These involved College acting as students’ guardians in lieu of their families while they lived in Trinity-run accommodation. 

They say: “The issue has been raised to the TCDSU by multiple student residents, and as such we immediately call on College to change the policy to allow student residents to sign in guests at any time.” 

Additionally, they encourage residents of Trinity Halls and on-campus accommodation to sign up to the TCD Renters’ Solidarity Network, “a grassroots campus resident’s action group”. The group also plans to “advocate for free laundry machines, and stand up against unaffordable rents”. 

In a statement to The University Times, College said: “We are aware this issue has been raised and we are considering the matter.” 

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